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David Maxwell
David Maxwell is the executive editor for Geneva Press, WJK Press, The Thoughtful Christian, and The Presbyterian Leader. He strives to be the change he wishes to see in the world and usually fails.
Interests: walking, biking, listening to Bill Moyers and Diane Rehms podcasts, and music of all kinds.
Recent Activity
Are you getting the best out of your study purchases or subscription on The Thoughtful Christian? Following are some tips to make sure you do: 1. Use the Site Map An updated list of Thoughtful Christian studies for adults and/or teens is found at the bottom of the site. Click... Continue reading
Beth, what a beautiful post. I have only had this experience a few times being with people as they die. You put so eloquently into words a mysterious stage in life that can be so powerful when done in the company of someone as caring as yourself. Thank you!
Thank you Lynne for this excellent post. I get overwhelmed and confused by how the news agencies have changed and offer very little news that matters anymore. Journalist friends have told me that investigative journalism has been cut and so now what we see mostly are weather reports and police chasers with microphones and cameras and loudmouths who are paid for by business interests. I have been "saved" by two things lately. National Public Radio programs like Diane Rehms who has a weekly two hour News Roundup program that goes into depth on a few big stories of the week, getting past the chatter. And an iPod which allows me to download free podcasts of good programs like hers, sync them to the iPod, and then control when I listen to them.
Thanks Adam. If I did it again I would have written him first and waited to write "Don't Like" only if he didn't reply. Turns out he took the post down within an hour and wrote me thanking me for the advice and saying his friend had gone way too far. Can Google + catch up to FB in terms of popularity? That'll be interesting. I can't imagine wanting to be in two of these sorts of programs at the same time!
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell I’m waiting to see if my nephew un-friends me on Facebook. I won’t be surprised if he does, though I will be sorry. Facebook has been a priceless way to keep up with the activities and antics of friends and relatives near and... Continue reading
One doesn't have to be a biblical scholar or ordained minister to know their Bible and decide what is right Olga. It sounds to me like you are very wise.
Karson, I am very sad the leaders of your church took this decision. It does leave you in a predicament. While I'm sure your witness to your church leaders is important you also need to be nourished by your faith community. I will be praying for you and your church. My experience has been that churches who follow your understanding of risking on the side of inclusion tend to gather a fascinating mix of marginalized people, the kind the Jesus hung out with.
Harry, I am assuming you are serious here. The question you raise I have heard raised by missionaries in countries where polygamy is indeed part of the culture. The Bible spans a period of centuries and cultures where various cultural practices were accepted and there is not a clear word given there about the practice. I once spoke with a missionary wrestling with this question as she tried to introduce Christianity in a culture that practiced polygamy. Her concern about polygamy was more about the treatment of women, but having served in other countries where monogamy was the norm she couldn't say women were treated any better. In fact, at least when there were multiple wives they could often protect one another better and not live so isolated. In the US I have not heard this being discussed so much. I do know one pastor in Minneapolis who is working with Sudanese immigrants who has had to deal with the issue of polygamy. Would you tell a person who wished to be Christian they had to be monogamous and get rid of wives and children who may depend on them? What Biblical bases would you use? What is the loving thing to do? My hesitation about talking about this in a discussion about same sex marriage is that both same sex marriage and polygamy are extremely hot button issues that set people off who believe the Bible has definitely spoken and is so clear. It feeds into the "slippery slope" argument that once we open the door to one marginalized group we'll be advocating marriage to animals and other absurd notions. But I do think you raise a legitimate concern that in an increasingly global community will need to deal with. I don't think that the gay community is any more responsible for dealing with this issue than the straight community. Yes, marginalized communities should make the connections to others who face discrimination, but it really is the dominant culture who needs to step up, no?
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell A friend just sent me an email circulating from a climate change denier. The email pokes fun of all ecological do gooders out tending their tiny gardens and advocating increased carbon emissions taxes while an erupting volcano in Iceland spews out more CO2... Continue reading
What a thoughtful post Erin. Thank you. I will have to think about that. One of my favorite mentors was a woman, Letty Russell, who was a professor at Yale Divinity and I think an exceptional one. Perhaps I caught her at just the right point in life, but she ministered especially to students critical of the status quo. I will forever be grateful.
I'm not sure Robyn. You might ask your stated clerk.
Sorry for the delay. Enough Biblical scholars now question whether authoritative texts actually do speak against same sex relationships as we know them today that many argue the church is exactly the place where everyone belongs. Jesus broke tradition time and time again including people and using people outside the official church to lead what became the church. It seems to me that this is precisely what the church should be about, a place where all belong who choose to follow this self-sacrificing, inclusive, love that God gives.
Dear Christian Fundraising, is that your name? The purpose of my post was to share the news and reflect on what this means for the church, not to begin an argument about it.
I'm sorry for the delay. I think the argument you are making has been made by many. Proponents of the change in the Book of Order which has now won the acceptance in the majority of presbyteries have argued that we trust governing bodies to follow biblical and confessional standards to evaluate candidates. And we all admit that Christians are in disagreement over how to interpret the Bible on this issue. We will stay and live together in the meantime trusting in the Holy Spirit and God's grace.
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell It made all the headlines this week. The Presbyterian Church (USA) now joins the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the United Church of Christ in not using sexual orientation as criteria to deny ordained service to its members. There are plenty... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell A pickup truck stopped next to a SUV at a stoplight last week. A man got out of the truck, walked around to the SUV woman driver’s window, stooped down and picked up the still lit cigarette butt the young woman had just... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by David Maxwell Jesus was just one of many charismatic good preachers stirring people up and giving them hope. He had just the combination of messages that helped many people connect the dots and see their religious institution and its leaders for what they were—collaborators with... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices Post by David Maxwell The greatest commandment for a Christian, according to Jesus, is twofold: we are to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. (Mark 12:28-31) Last week I wrote about qualities of Christians where we show our love of neighbor and self. We called... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell Whenever I think about Thoughtful Christian, I always wonder, which comes first: Thoughtful or Christian? I know thoughtful people who are not Christians. And, unfortunately, I know many Christians who are not very thoughtful. Editing the studies on the Thoughtful Christian over the... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell Some of my neighbors are determined to get their carbon footprint to zero or below. It’s like living next to a bunch of straight A classmates. Solar paneled roofs, backyard gardens, no cars, Greyhound Bus instead of Delta Airlines, wood burning stoves, and... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell A teenage woman named Erin was recently interviewed by This American Life director Ira Glass. Erin listens to Glen Beck and says that despite what her science teacher says about the effect humans are having on global climate change she, like Glen, thinks... Continue reading
Thanks John. I agree those are all great ways to learn about prayer.
A Gathering Voices Post by David Maxwell In recent years a change has occurred in the way many churches do community prayer. The reasoning seems solid—let the people’s voice be heard. Where once a carefully crafted pastoral prayer was delivered, today a microphone is passed around for people to offer... Continue reading
Hi Bo. I'm sorry for the delay in response. I wrote that before leaving for a week trip and have not been watching the blog until this morning. Thanks for telling me where you're coming from. I can see where you would infer some of the things you do from my post as I go back and read it. 500 words is not much space and I should be more careful in the future as there was much there to be unpacked. My biggest concern about translating for the US military that year was that I did not want to be seen connected to the armed services in this town. The distrust of the U.S. among the people was huge. In small towns word spreads quickly and I was just getting there. I went to Chile in fact to teach and learn from pentecostals. Coming from a tradition that doesn't talk much about the Holy Spirit or spiritual gifts being shown in worship, those five years were extremely humbling and wonderful. I learned God works in ways I just don't understand. At least 3 nights a week I spent in 3 hour worship services with people. I'm sure they rubbed off on me much more than I on them and it was a real privilege for me. I think I misuse the word "self-righteous". I'm never proud of being self-righteous, so by saying I swallowed my self-righteous glee, you are right. I wasn't proud of my prejudice. and it was that pastor who had trained his prophetesses in everything they knew so I didn't come out of that experience feeling confirmed in any anti-military or anti-pentecostal sense. Coming from my context though it was just incredible to me how the service turned out. A person (man or woman) preaching such violence against women in a context where they already are living in violence daily, was silenced by a group of people (in this case women trained by their male pastor) in a religious language and custom they all understood (the preacher included) was just amazing. That is a little more of what I meant to say. I'm sorry if it was badly put. One more note. Although I am a pacifist, that is not the tradition of my denomination (Presbyterian) and I have family and friends who are military personnel. We often agree to disagree on many subjects, though often agree about political decisions made on other levels that put them in difficult situations. I didn't mean to offend in the story. sorry if I did.
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A Gathering Voices post by David Maxwell Believe me. I could not make this up. Happy Women’s History Month! I moved to southern Chile in 1990 to teach at a seminary. I lived in a coastal town and the first month of classes (March) coincided with the annual U.S.-Chilean naval... Continue reading